First, the title is a quote from Tim Keller. Second, it only applies to Christians. Now…
I’ve been asked many times as a pastor, “How do I know God’s will for my life?” or “How can I find God’s will for my life?”
Most of the time people ask that in the context of doing things for God. I’m one of those that believes “God’s will” regarding doing “things” is much more open than people know. I believe God gives people options… choices… all of which He will bless. I don’t believe there is ONE path God has for believers and if that’s missed you are sunk… you can never go back… you failed.
First let’s consider “God’s will.”
Mark 3:35, Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.
John 6:39, “This is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The ultimate will of God is to believe in Christ for salvation. Everyone God gave Jesus (Jn 6:39 above) will believe and it is certain that they will come to Christ for salvation (John 6:37). So first “God’s will” is in regards to the salvation of His people.
Second… God’s will for His children AFTER they are saved. This one is huge. NOTE: Don’t let the “P” word in Romans scare you, read my explanation.
Romans 8:29, Those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…
Philippians 1:6, And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 2:13 For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God’s will is Christ-likeness, holiness, and godliness for every believer. God does not leave any believer’s sanctification to chance… He wills it without any possibility of failure. THAT is what Romans 8:29 means. THAT is what “predestined” means in Romans 8:29. God’s will is for EVERY believer to become more and more like Jesus from the time of their conversion until it is completed in heaven. Now…
Third. What does that look like in life? Does that mean a person should be a U.S. Marshal or an accountant… A secretary or CEO… A ditch digger or doctor? My answer… it doesn’t matter (One exception to follow next). Every profession… EVERY PROFESSION… is just as important as any other in God’s sight because in them all the believer is to magnify Christ. God calls believers to all kinds of professions (Factory worker, politicians, doctor, stay at home mom, etc) SO THAT HE IS MAGNIFIED AND GLORIFIED TO ALL PEOPLE IN THOSE LINES OF WORK!
The Exception? To become a minister (Pastor, evangelist, missionary, etc) is a life path that should be weighed carefully. There are unique gifts and character traits required for those who fill those positions (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). The kind of ministry I refer to here is hard enough when a person IS called, it is a disaster when people who aren’t called enter it.
Conclusion: What is God’s will for your life? That you are saved… glorify Him… are conformed to the image of Christ. Past those things, I believe (By experience and years of observation) God gives a person three things: 1) A gift, 2) A call, and 3) A PASSION. A passion to do something. A passion deep in their heart and soul. That fits in every profession… career path… and life.
So you are saved? God is working in you to accomplish His will. Now, in whatever your chosen profession is… honor and glorify God. THAT is His will for you. In other words… as a believer… YOU ARE STANDING IN GOD’S WILL.